Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Okay, now that I have calmed down, I will share with you this little trial I experienced.
The past few months we have been putting all the markers up, high. Even the Crayola ones. Delta and Emma have taken to coloring on everything. The walls, floors, all papers, even their clothes.
Well, with Christmas, the kids have been coloring, wrapping, making, and writing on tags. This was what happened. Jayden was using the permanent markers to draw a picture.
Then he used the markers to make the tag. The rest of us were of course busy with our own projects. The markers didn't get put away.
In walk Delta and Emma.
"Look there! It's an orange marker. Let's do our own project. Hmmmm..... What should we write on? Our hands! Okay, now what? Our stomachs! Now what? Our shirts! Look how bright it looks on our white shirts. So pretty. Look Daddy. See our pretty shirts!"
Well, luckily it came off of their skin easily.
So, how do you get permanent marker off of white shirts? I did some google searching.
Here is what we tried:
WD40. We sprayed on of the shirts with WD40. The other we sprayed with Zout pre-treat stuff. Then we soaked them over night in the washer with laundry soap and an additive.
Here is the result:

I was amazed!! And happy.
I had worried about getting them white shirts anyway. I will think twice as long next time. But I love the saying on them. So what do you do?!? Well, first of all, keep an eye on the markers. Second, don't freak out like I did. Then grab the WD40, spray it on the marker, then wash (maybe even soak over night). And lo and behold, it will come out. Now to go do the other shirt. Pin It
So I am going to take a while to write to write this post, as there are so many thoughts and feelings I am dealing with that go along with it. Plus I also want to be getting the experiences down that have occurred over the past few months. So, where to begin...
Well, I guess that I need to start with what happened 8 and a half years ago. I use to be married to someone else. Someone who has some of the same qualities as Tony does. Someone who was kind to me and good to our children. Someone who didn't share my same religious views, but that is another story for another time.
He came home one night and just didn't seem the same. I knew something was up, but put my rose colored glasses back on and tried my best to get on with things. Then after being like this for a week, he dropped the bomb. He didn't want to be married any more. He didn't see himself almost 30 and married with kids. He wanted his freedom back and the pressure gone. We lived in a small, predominately LDS community. He had joined the church 6 month prior, thinking that it would help his feelings on the matter. But it hadn't been in his heart.
Jump forward one year when I married Tony, the love of my life, my knight in shining armor. Someone who would help me move through this life and into the eternities. We moved 12 hours away from where the oldest three were born. We added the remaining 4 in the next 6 years.
Well, about 2 years ago, the kids came home after spending the summer with their dad having a different perspective on things and a new way of expressing themselves. It wasn't what I would call uplifting. In fact the opposite. Emo just focuses on the negative in life and how horrible things are. The started wearing dark clothes and makeup. Listening to darker music. Reading darker books. I didn't know what to do. After counseling with our bishop, he said that we should keep an eye on things, especially negative actions that go with this lifestyle, such as cutting. Then he said to love them. That was easy. But the hard part has been watching them make some of the choices I didn't agree with.
The music I mainly like. It is kind of like the music I listened to in high school. But some of it wasn't. I didn't want it in my house. I wanted to ban it. But after praying about it, I felt that they could decide what they listened to, but I got to control what the rest of the family listened to. This translated into "you can listen to what you wantif it's in your ear, but if I hear something I don't approve of, I will ask you to turn it off."
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Sunday, December 27, 2009


I have been amazed at how mature Ari has been. While the teenage years (he's 11 and a half) bring selfishness, he has been thinking of his siblings and what they would love for Christmas. He talked about what to get Elyse for 3 weeks. Then he was so excited Christmas Eve about presents. Because he wanted to see how excited everyone would be to open what he got them. He told me, "I can't wait until tomorrow. You are going to love what I got you!"
Then he also wanted to get something for his friend. So after getting some gift cards, he used some of the money to buy a gift for him. Then couldn't wait to give it to him.
He has also been so loving and helpful with the twins. Holding Emma for over an hour when she woke up early from her nap. That way I could keep sewing. He will even play Barbies with them, and push them in their car. He'll make sure that they don't get picked on. He also gets them drink and snacks to help with their happiness level.
I am so grateful for him and hope that he continues to be this way, making sure that others are taken care of. Pin It

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Wonderful Christmas Season

I enjoyed watching the Christmas devotional tonight. The music was great as always. The talks were uplifting. The words from President Monson were great too. It amazed me that the words of our Bishop during tithing settlement were so close to his.
This year we decided to tone it down for Christmas. We feel that our children have so much. The house is also over flowing. So It was great to hear that we need to think about what we are spending our money on. And then how much is it needed. We have also been taking a bunch to DI. (I love DI. The dress that Delta wore today came from there. It still had the original tags on it!) The main expenditure is the plane ticket for Julia to come home for the holiday. We just don't need to go over board. It won't fit in the front room anyway. Can you imagine? 9 peoples presents in the front room?? It will be packed. Then where does it go after being opened?
I remember one mom who use to tell the kids that they needed to count the presents, and that is how many things they need to get rid of. Elyse has done great at this. She has sent more to DI than the rest of us, except Tony. (Yes, I did say Tony was the winner!) I am going through toys, and what hasn't been seen all year can go away. What have the kids outgrown? What do we not have room for? What clothes do we not fit in or wear? It needs to go away.
I want to get back to the fun Christmas things. Reading stories. Making goodies. Singing songs. Doing kind acts for others. We are decorating, but we just do a bit each day. And it is mainly the kids doing it. They love it, so why not? (We have lots of paper chains and pipe cleaner decorations.)
Tonight we made some goodies, and everyone helped. Delta and Emma got to add the chips to the cookie bars. Elyse made the fudge (her first time) with a little help. The rest of us made the 7 minute pile-ups. (graham cracker crust, coconut, choco chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, then pour sweetened condensed milk on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.) It was fun. Little stress. I loved it. I think the kids did too.
Then we read our Christmas story for the night. The Last Straw by Paula McDonald. Now we can start our yearly tradition of copying the McDonalds', and doing acts of kindness for each other. Pin It

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts of Thankfulness: Fathers

As I mentioned earlier, my dad wasn't the best, but he did teach me a few things.
He was a perfectionist. He wanted a job done correctly, and would send us back to redo until it was up to his specifications. (Hmm...I should do this with my own children.) When we would sweep the floor, he would makes sure we got all the corners. If any part was missed, we had to back and try again. He was also this way about the vehicle. He wanted the spots to be completely gone. the inside had to be as clean as the outside. The windows, the dashboard and consoles, the floor.
He had a great sense of humor. He was able to make a difficult situation better. He had a nickname for everyone and everything. Each of us kids had a nickname. Mine was Seven Bowl because I could eat seven bowls of cereal in a sitting. He called burritos "burr-ay-guz, ice cream "screms", and sandwiches "gweeches". He would tease us and rough house with us.
He was also a hard worker. He worked in the construction world as a heavy machine mechanic. H was so good at this that he was made Mechanical Foreman and was sought after by the best construction companies in the west. He would work long hours and as much as was needed to get the job done. This meant he would get there early to get the vehicles warming, then stay late to make sure they were ready for the next day.
I am also grateful for my step-father.
He is very kind and loving to my mom. He treats us kids with kindness. And, while he only had to raise the younger three, he was a patient parent. I can see that he taught my younger siblings important lessons. He is a worthy priesthood leader, a hard worker, and is a hard worker. He has made it possible for my mom to be at home, which she loves. He is also someone who I can turn to for advice. He sets a good example for us. His grandkids love him, and they love to be around him. He will take them with him when he goes out in the yard to work. He has a great sense of humor, and will help us to laugh at our situations.
I have been able to call on him when I've needed him. He was there when I went through my divorce, as well as when I had cancer. I can ask him advice, and he will give it. He is intelligent, and a hard worker. I love him, and am so glad he joined our family.
I am thankful for my father-in-law. When I was younger and lived down the street from them, I remember watching how he treated his family (especially his wife), how great he was, and I decided that I wanted to marry someone like him. He is a big, tough guy, but also tender, sweet, and patient. He will sit on the floor with the kids and play, read books, or just be with them. He is always busy. He has a great work ethic, and had the same job for over 40 years. He always helps anytime we need it. He taught his family important things, such as doing well at your job (be it school or work). He served in the guard, and has pride in our country. I am so glad I married his son, as I can see his wonderful qualities reflected there.
With all these great examples to see, I hope that our sons will have these same qualities. Pin It

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts of Thankfulness: Mothers

I am so grateful for my mom.
The house that I grew up in wasn't one of those typical Mormon homes. To start out with, my parents weren't active members.
My mom was a convert. She married my dad, whose family is very active and strict. But he wasn't. He was an alcoholic and drug addict. He would only go to church occasionally. When I was in grade school, he went and was active so that he could baptize me and my siblings. I found out just recently that he was still using drugs at that time to help him "cope" with life.
My mom was the stable one for us kids. I didn't find out until junior high that he was using drugs. We had just had a lesson at a mutual activity that talked about drugs. What they looked like, what they did, and ways to say no. Then a few days later my mom called me from work (it was summer and I babysat for her that year) and asked me if I would put away some "medicine" out of the window sill and hide it from the little kids. It wasn't medicine. It was cocaine. I recognized the container.
My dad was also emotionally and physically abusive towards us. My mom would intervene as much as she could. She would also make life fun for us. We had a fun way of doing chores. She would have us hunt for chores. At Easter this was an egg hunt with chores inside. She taught me to sew by making clothes for my dolls. I was 10 or younger at the time. She also taught me to have pride in what we had.
I remember once when we were not doing well financially. I had the assignment in school to organize my clothes and draw a picture of my drawers when I was done. Well, we didn't have a dresser at the time, so I crossed the word drawer out on the worksheet and wrote box (as my clothes were in cardboard boxes). My mom sat me down and let me know that this was unacceptable. Yes, we didn't have a dresser, but we did have clothes and we kept them clean and tidy. We could be proud of the fact that we were doing this well. From that time on I didn't dwell on what we didn't have that others did, but rather on what others didn't have, that we did. It was a great lesson for me.
Then when she went through a divorce, she wouldn't let us bad mouth my father, no matter what we heard, saw, or learned. He was our dad, and we needed to treat him kindly and with respect. When I went through my own divorce, I made sure that my kids did the same thing, and I don't speak of things that are negative about their father in front of them.
I am thankful for my mom, and for all moms. For all they do, and for what I have learned watching them. Pin It

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts of Thankfulness: A Loving Husband

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am feeling more gratitude for the blessing I've been given.
This week I have been especially thankful for a loving husband. One who will take time from work to help. Tuesday was a bit hard as Delta and Emma had been sick. He got all the kids off to school. he usually gets Elyse and Ari up, fed, and out the door. They have to leave by 6:55am. He lets me sleep in until 7:30. He stayed until I was able to get a shower, which was about 8:45.
Then on Thursday, he stayed home with the girls to make sure they didn't get their cousin sick. This morning was another hectic one, as the girls were up most of the night, and he stayed to help me get ready to take them to the doctor. (The twins have ear infections, but Katia is doing okay. Just a fever.)
I am grateful that he likes to cook. He is an amazing chef, who loves to cook. He makes my favorite dishes: Shrimp Scampi and Bacon Wrapped Chicken. He also makes cookies, brownies, and what ever else sounds yummy. He also experiments with dishes. Last night he made a chicken and dirty rice dish that was so yummy. I am grateful that he will come home and help get dinner on the table if I haven't been able to get it done. He will also let me rest or read while he makes Sunday dinner.
I'm thankful that he loves being a parent. He will pray for help in solving problems. He reads to Jayden and Ari every night. He plays with the girls. Even Barbies. He will watch movies with them. He will have light saber fights with the boys. He helps everyone with homework. Takes them with him to the store, bank, or just for ice cream. He worries about and cares for all of them. Wants them to have fun, and learn to work. Do well in school and other tasks, and find joy in life.
I am thankful that he is a worthy priesthood holder. I didn't have that blessing growing up, and appreciate it so much now. I am happy that I can ask for a blessing for the kids when they are sick, or myself when I need comfort. He cares about the members of our ward family, as well as our own family. He reads the scriptures better than me and is a good example to us. He leads our family and does family home evening, and calls us together for scriptures and prayer.
I am grateful that he is chivalrous. He opens doors, pulls out chairs. Pours my drink, and pampers me more than I deserve. He brings me flowers, and (what I love even more) chocolate. He doesn't stand for the boys to hit the girls. He shows respect for me and our daughters, and expects the same from all of us. He takes out the trash and has the boys do this as well. He will do those nasty jobs; like unclog the toilet, change light bulbs, change the oil, kill bugs, and clean up dog poop. He helps with the other tasks. Dishes, vacuuming, laundry, and bathrooms.
So, basically, I am spoiled. I know this. I am so thankful to have him, and hope I can "Keep Up" with him. Pin It

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time well spent.

I woke up Monday morning with a pile of laundry in every hamper. Dishes in need of being put away, and put in the dishwasher. The front room needed straightened and vacuumed. The girls' room needed major organizing. I decided to leave all this and go do what the girls wanted to do.
So we went for a walk. We piled into the stroller, grabbed Shasta, and set off to get the mail. Next we headed to see the water in the canal.
There were ducks swimming, so we stopped to watch for a while. Delta and Emma quacked at them. They started to swim away from us, so we headed to our next destination. The horses.
The first pasture was empty, so we headed to the one across the street. There were five horses there. We stood and watched them as they walked over to us. Delta wanted to see them better, so I held her up. We patted the horses' noses. Then Emma decided that she would like to pat their noses, too.

After we had said good-bye to all the horses, we headed for home. We stopped at the canal again and watched the ducks until they swam off again.
When we reached home, I felt so good that I had spent that time with them, instead of with the clothes or dishes. They seemed to enjoy it as well. Pin It

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today was the primary program. Ari's last. I was so glad that I was able to watch the whole thing. (Thank you Tony for taking Delta and Emma out so I could do so.)
I love the primary program. The songs always touch my heart. The children sharing what they have learned. Some who were not so nervous that they forgot what to say. Some who make everyone laugh. Those who can't sit still for that long. It is just the most wonderful thing ever.
I love the theme as well, as that is the most important thing to me. I love my family. I love that I get to be with them for eternity.
I love that I have a husband who loves all our children, and prays for them and for help in what to do while raising them. He is the best!
I wish that I could always say and do the right things, and that our children would always do the right things. But thankfully we have a Savior who can make up for our short comings.
I also love that I have the knowledge that we can be a forever family. It keeps me trying when I get down about the mistakes I make. I look at my family and want to keep going so that we will be together.
I need to spend more time with the kids. I also want to spend more time with my husband. I hope that I will be worthy to be with them forever. They are my life. Pin It

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Organizing Hair Accessories

With so many girls, there are always an abundance of accessories for doing hair. There are clips, hair bows, head bands, elastic bands, and more. I'm sure you have all seen the wonderful hair bow holders. These work great. I love them. We currently have 5. We may need more, as soon as I can make time to create them.
I have found a wonderful caddy that I love for the elastics at Hobby Lobby. They can be organized by color. I love that it locks, so the girls can't get into them. And it is see through so I know what color I want by looking. I also put the little plastic clips and metal clips in a few compartments as well.

The next I like is the bow holder I made a year ago that has a dowel for the head bands to go on, and a shelf for all the things to go on so the little kids can't get into them, and three grosgrain ribbons for the bows to go on. I have also used this shelf for a prize that Katia (or someone else) has been working on so she can see it, but not get to it. I will sometimes let her hold it while I do her hair, so that she can remember it and be more motivated to work for it.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And now what?

Since school started I have been trying to set goals and accomplish them. This has been more difficult than I thought it would.
I will make a list of "to-dos". And then not get them done. That hasn't worked.
I have tried making a "done" list. (I had a friend whose mom always had her list checked off. She was frustrated one day and asked her mom how she was able to accomplish so much. She told her daughter that she had a done list instead of a to do list. She would write something down as she went to do it, then cross it off when it was done. That way she could see how much she did, instead of how much she had to do.)
Lately this hasn't helped either.
So now I am going to try something that I did when Jayden was a baby. It helped me see what I did with my time and if I was doing something that needed to be...ummmm...done away with. I'm sure that being on the computer hasn't helped. I also know that having twins is a lot more work than just having 2 kids.
I just ran into my neighbor at the store. She has twin boys who are 12 (or I think 13. No, 12) Anyway, she asked how nap time was. I told her it would be nice if they would always nap at the same time. They also wake each other up. She also reminded me that if they wake up and you don't know, they will destroy the room. This is no lie. They are great at destroying anything. They can climb and I've found them on the dresser throwing things on the floor. I've found them on the counter getting things out of the tupperware cabinet. Then I wonder how the house can get so dirty so fast. I just go from mess to mess as fast as I can, and they are at least 4 steps ahead.
So she told me that I need to get over thinking that the house should be clean, because it won't for a while. That is my other problem. I get side tracked so easily.
So, here is what I'm going to try. I'm going to keep track of what I do and for how long. Let's see... I've been on the computer for 75 minutes today. I need to make a pie, vacuum the front room, get snack ready, and help Jayden with his homework. Then I need to read to the girls, for I went to town today and was gone for 2 hours. The kids want to play with their cousins. Then I need to start dinner and get ready for Relief Society tonight.
Okay, that doesn't sound so overwhelming.
Here I go.
And good luck to you getting your things done! Pin It

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Let's go to my house for a snack.

Our family loves the Backyardigans. Everyone from Tony on down to Emma. (The little girls see a book or movie with them and they call them Dum Dum. Dum Dum. since that is how the cartoon starts.) We have a lot of the DVDs. Infact we are watching one right now.
Well, our snacks have been lacking a bit lately, so I have been trying to watch the shows and have some of the snacks they are having. Here's what I have so far:

* Knights Are Brave and Strong - Pretzels and juice, at Uniqua's house
* The Yeti - Hot chocolate, at Uniqua's house
* Pirate Treasure - Not specified, at Uniqua's house
* The Heart of the Jungle - Pretzels, at Uniqua's house
* Secret Mission - Brownies, at Uniqua's house
* Riding the Range - Cookies, at Pablo's house
* The Key to the Nile - Cheese, crackers and apple juice, at Tasha's house
* The Snow Fort - Not specified, at Tyrone's house
* It's Great to Be a Ghost - Apples, at Pablo's house
* Viking Voyage - Graham crackers, at Uniqua's house
* The Quest for the Flying Rock - Waffles, at Tyrone's house
* Surf's Up - Grilled cheese, at Pablo's house
* Race to the Tower of Power - Granola bars, at Tyrone's house
* Castaways - Applesauce, at Uniqua's house
* Cave Party - Cinnamon toast, at Pablo's house
* High Tea - Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, at Pablo's house
* Eureka! - Graham Crackers, at Uniqua's house
* Polka Palace Party - Strawberries, at Uniqua's house
* Race Around the World - Chocolate Chip Cookies, at Uniqua's house
* Monster Detectives - Celery with hummus, at Tyrone's house

If any of you watch one of those not mentioned, would you please post what the snack was? Thanks. I really don't have the time to just sit and watch them all.
I appreciate it.

Well, I better go get snack ready. I think Chocolate Chip Cookies. Pin It

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Will Survive! this Christmas Season

Okay, so I am determined to survive this Christmas. Last year was so hectic. I didn't get all the cards out, I didn't finish wrapping until Christmas Eve. I went WAY over on the spending. I didn't make all the goodies I wanted. I did relax a bit. But I still felt that I wanted more peace. That I needed more peace. So this year after following this link from a fellow blogger, I think I can do it. I have tried something like this before from FlyLady. For some reason, I think this will work for me a bit better.

First off I printed out all the pages I would use. Next I went through what I had already purchased. (I'm almost done with Katia.) I then made a list of what I wanted to buy. After something that Jeanette said, I think I will follow her thought and simplify the spending this year. We don't NEED to give our kids that many gifts. They have way too much as it is since I've been buying toys for 16 years.
One thing we started 7 years ago is Santa only brings one gift. Then we will give the kids 4 gifts. 2 of which will be the same, one outfit, and one pair of PJs. The other 2 to fit the wants or likes of the child. I hope this will help.

Now I will set a plan in motion and do a bit each day/week. I feel confident that this will work for us this year. Fingers crossed and good luck to the rest of you. Pin It

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fast Sunday

Okay, so I may have mentioned this before, but here is how we do fast Sunday at our house:
I decided 5 years ago, when Elyse was 12, that I wouldn't make anything for breakfast on fast Sunday. (Other Sundays I make muffins or cinnamon rolls.) The kids could have cereal or toast. This helped me, as well, feel like I was sort of participating in a fast when I was pregnant or nursing. My little way of doing without. I also decided that we couldn't eat goodies until we closed our fast.
This month will see a bit more whining since it is the day after Halloween. Last night I decided to gather up all the candy so that it wouldn't be out and seen. This might help the little ones. Well, and me. I find that sometimes I will eat something and then realize that I'm still fasting. I had Tony put it away, so that way I won't be tempted to give in when the weeping and wailing starts. We'll see how it goes. Pin It

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween, that busy time of year.

Well, after a month of sewing, here is the final result. I didn't make Jayden's costume. Grandma Kirkham made the cloak and scarf. Tony made the wand.

Elyse's I started first. (She did her shoes. Ballet slippers dyed green with a pompom and some sequins glued on.) But after watching Tinkerbell's Lost Treasure movie, we wish that we had made her costume like that to keep her warm. Oh well, maybe next year. (She is a major Tink fan and has been for quite some time.)

I then did Ari's. His was the most fun. It was a trip to DI and then an afternoon of sewing with this as the result.

*pict to follow after I can get him to stand still long enough to get one*

Katia's I started next. but then she changed her mind. She started out wanting to be a fairy. Then she changed her mind several times.

Emma's was the next.

Then I did Katia's and finished up with Delta's (on the day of the ward party).

I think I will take a sewing break for the weekend to reclaim the house. Then I will be starting on Christmas dresses, gifts, and such. Pin It

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Celebrating 19 Months

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Celebrating 19 Months
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Delta and Emma are 19 months old. They have been so much fun, so this time has FLOWN! I am so grateful to be able to stay home with them.
Some of you know I had to work up until I had Jayden. It was the most hard when I had to leave Julia to return to work when she was only 1 month old. Luckily I have had family babysit for me. Which does ease the tears, but not by much. I would usually cry on my way to work., wishing I could just stay with them and not have to leave them. Here is my soap box:
There are things we are having to live without. Cable TV for one. Major vacations for another. But it is so worth it. I am very blessed to have a husband who WANTS me to be at home. It is harder to be at home. Okay, not harder, just more work. When you are home all day with the kids, the house is more messy. There are more snacks, more activities to attend (because you don't have to get off work so you can go to them all). Plus there are the expectations you have for yourself. You should have all chores done by noon. Laundry is always done. Beds always made. Floors always mopped. And you can everything form your amazing garden. Volunteer in everyone's class and are the PTA president, room mom, and always read for 20 minutes a day to each child. You also donate your time to other worthy causes. (Then the words of President Harold B. Lee come to my mind " The most important work is within the walls of your home.") My grandma always reminds me that the Proclamation on the Family doesn't say that your home has to spotless. She is right. I think if we pray about it and follow those promptings, we will be doing what He would have us do.

Okay, now for the fun of being a mom. I love watching as the kids grown and learn. I love playing with them. Reading to them, and making block towers. Listening to them sing a song or say a rhyme that I have been singing or saying. I love when they want to help. I love when they just want to sit on my lap for a minute. It is the best. And having 3 home this year has been a great time. We get to do lots of girly things. Dress up, barbies, babies, crafts, watching princess movies. Pin It

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I finished Katia's costume last night. She settle on Belle. I didn't have to do much alterations. The main thing was finding a dress pattern that had a collar like Belle's.
My mom had made a dress similar, and gave me the pattern. Then I found a simple sleeve which I added.
The color yellow was hard to find. I didn't want "yellow" and gold was the easier color to find. but while perusing JO-Ann's fabric store, I found the color I thought would work great.
I happened to be at a Hobby Lobby to get a zipper, when I decided to look for flowers. And what do you know, they had just the right color roses in their wedding aisle. Hurray!
I did have so much fun making it. And Katia loved it so much, that when it was time for her to go to her preschool party, she was jumping up and down and I had quite a time trying to get a photo of her. Pin It

Monday, October 26, 2009

Preserving apples for the coming year.

I am still doing apple butter. I took a break last week as I was sewing and getting costumes ready. But now I am back to apple butter.
We have a great apple tree in our back yard. I don't really like apples. Our apricots are my favorite. The kids do love apples and will eat them right off the tree. So good! But apple butter is one of my favorites. And Tony's as well. (Raspberry jam is our absolute favorite, but we didn't have many this year.)
So this year with the little girls being so busy and learning new things all the time, I decided that I had to spread it out a bit, or I would be overwhelmed and end up quitting. So I went out the first day and picked some apples for 15 minutes. Then I came in and cleaned them, cut them and put them in a pot to make into apple sauce. While they were cooking (on medium heat), I take a break and either read, play, sew, or do some house work. Then when it's time to start another batch of apple sauce, I don't feel that all I have been doing is apples.

Make sure you set a timer for every 5 minutes to come check on the apples and stir them, as they will burn.

When the apples are soft, I put them in a blender and blend until they are sauce (peels and all, but no cores/seeds). They then go into the slow cooker. I continue this process until I have 16 cups of apple sauce. Then I follow the recipe from my grandma, who got it from her mom and so on.
1 and a half cups vinegar, 8 cups sugar, 5 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, and cook it down to the desired consistency (4-6 hours). Put it in hot pint jars that have been prepared for canning, seal them in a water bath for 20 minutes for our elevation (about 4700 ft).

I love doing this on cold days. It makes the house smell so good. And with the hot things on, it keeps the house warm and cozy. It really helped today with the clouds and frost on the windshields this morning. It seems colder on these days.

I will sometimes start this first thing and then go about my day smelling apples cooking and then cinnamon added in the afternoon. This makes folding laundry much more enjoyable. Then when I take a break, I drink hot cocoa and either watch a movie with the kids, or read a book. Helps me gear up for when it's time to put it all in jars. Pin It

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to keep up with the diapers., and keep your sanity.

Okay, so having twins is a lot of work. Plus it costs more than having one. So to start off with I don't buy the most expensive diapers. I watch the sales and coupons, and when the two mesh, I am so happy.
Well, this month diapers were on sale and there was a coupon. Luvs diapers were 15.99 a case and there was a $1 off coupon to boot. Hurray!! I used all 6 of my coupons and the 2 that Dear sis-in-law, didn't need. Now there isn't much under their bed except diapers. (This does help with keeping toys from being lost under the bed.) Tony thinks they will last until next year. I hope they will last until Christmas.
Having a stock pile helps. I have only run out twice in the past 19 months. That is a major feat. Then to make sure that I don't spend all my time changing diapers, if I change one, I change the other.
There is also some outside help. For example, Delta tells me when she needs a diaper change by telling me "I poopy." She wants changed right away. Emma is usually on the same schedule. I also change them right after they wake up, right after breakfast, before lunch, after nap, before bath, and before bed. Having a sorta schedule has helped me keep on top of it and keep rashes to a minimum. Especially for Emma, who has sensitive skin.
I also Used a diaper changing station. It was on the dresser. Tony made me a shelf to house the diapers, wipes, bags for keeping the smell down, tissues, and little things on the top. This was by the dresser. I also started a little game with them when they were a couple months old. I would play peek-a-boo. When I would take off their pants I would put them on their face and wonder, "Where is Delta?" or Where's Emma?" Then take off the pants and find them. Now they play this game with me. It also keeps their hands away from the "work area".
Another thing I have done is kept a special toy on the shelf to pull down just during diapering time. Singing songs works great as well. That was how I found out what their favorite songs are. When I would sing that specific song, they would either become excited, or just watch me intently.
Finding these little tricks makes changing diapers easier and less traumatic. there is still the struggle at times, but not like it could be with twice the diapers to change. Pin It

Thursday, October 8, 2009

101 Posts!!

I can't believe that I was able to reach 100 this year. As you most can guess, things are hectic around here. But I do love sitting down to type some of my thoughts and such from the days or months past.
Today was one of those days where I just wanted to get the house clean. But after how last night was...I didn't get home from Relief Society craft night until almost 11. Delta and Emma woke at 2 and didn't go back to sleep until 4:30. Then I didn't get up until after 8. Katia woke up about 10:30. We were all so tired. I'm hoping that tonight will be better. I was able to get the dishes put away and the dirty ones loaded. Then I had to go through Katia's clothes again (I just did this 2 months ago) because she had a growth spurt. I also was able to stay on top of laundry. I also mopped the kitchen.
I am trying to make some time to get a little bit of sanity back. Some of this is reading. Some is getting online. I also watch movies or TV. The main problem with this is that I get addicted and can't stop. Or I just sit on the couch so that I can hold someone who needs it and then be able to do one of those things. Pin It

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swim Bag Instructions

I finally have these done. Of course I had to wait until the very last minute before I needed them for craft night. I did have them done yesterday morning, but I could have done them sooner, but here they are. Enjoy.

These make it so nice to go swimming. the kids can all carry their own stuff. Hurray!

Here’s what you need to get started:
1/2 yard of fabric, thread, cutting mat, straight edge, rotary cutter, lighter, 2 yards of 1 inch webbing, pet screen cut 14 X 32 inches, and a sewing machine.

Step 1:
Begin by cutting fabric into the following widths:
2 of 1.5 inches, 1 of 6 inches and 9 inches
Then cut the 6 and 9 inch pieces in half at the fold.

Step 2:
Next iron the fabric 1/4 inch on each cut edge.

Step 3:
Cut the webbing in half, then with the lighter, melt the ends to prevent fraying.
Now sew the strap pieces of fabric onto the webbing along the edges.Trim ends of fabric.

Step 4:
Position the straps to the pet screen about 3 inches in from sides with pins, matching up both sides. Secure in place with a zigzag stitch, repeating several times.

Step 5:
Place the 6 inch piece of fabric over the straps and stitch along top and bottom edges. Repeat on other end. At this point you can add trim along the top if you desire.

Step 6:
Now place 9 inch pieces of fabric down a couple of inches from 6 inch piece. Sew in place. Repeat on other side.

Step 7:
Turn inside out and sew along edges about 3/8 inch. Trim excess fabric. (The excess can be used to make a bag to hold sunglasses or other such items.)

Step 8:
At bottom of bag, fold the corners to make a point/triangle. Sew along the bottom of the triangle at the edge of the fabric.

Turn your bag right side out and “voila”, you’re done.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Musically Immersed

Emma has loved music since she was aware (even before birth). If she was rowdy, I could sing her a soft tune, and she would settle. Her favorite at 4 month was "I am a Child of God". He now favorite is "Tinkle, Twinkle". she sings it all the time. For the past few months I have been trying to get it on video. Finally I set the camera up and pushed record. After 12 minutes, this is what I got:

I have loved to hear her "singing" some tune as she plays, and have just stood there and watched. She thinks it amazing when we go somewhere and she hears someone singing this song or another that we sing at home. She will just look around and smile or giggle. Delta also does the same thing. Pin It

Summer fun!

I finally got around to pulling pictures off the camera. Here is Katia at swimming lessons:

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Friday, August 28, 2009

More than just "Double Trouble"

Today, as most of you know was the "short" Kindergarten day. Early out, which means school goes from just before 9:00 until just after 11:00. I decided that this would be a great day to see just how much I could get done. It all started when I couldn't get back to sleep at 4am. I got up before 5 and got the coupons done and ready for a quick shopping trip. I woke up elyse, then Ari, then got Emma back to sleep after waking up WAY too early. I then got the older two off to school. After showering and eating breakfast, I woke up Jayden (Katia woke up while I was getting ready to go get him). I got everyone else breakfast, got them dressed, and hair done. Then I loaded them all into the vehicle and headed to drop Jayden off at school. I then sped to the store, did the quick shopping trip, then returned home to put the groceries away. I got a snack for the little girls. Then I went out and cleaned off the lawn so I could mow. I finished mowing the front yard, then came in to check on the little girls. I started to sit down on the couch when I noticed it seemed dirty. It felt like sand. Knowing that they hadn't been outside, I asked where the sand came from. Katia said a container. I had her find the container which turned out to be a cocoa container. As I looked closer, I saw that it was indeed cocoa. And not just sprinkled on. It was licked. (it is cocoa after all.) Now when you lick cocoa, it becomes sticky. When you lick cocoa on a sofa, it too becomes sticky. I couldn't believe it. How do you clean a BUNCH of sticky cocoa off of a sofa? I called my mom (she has microfiber as well). I called Tony (who chuckled--gotta laugh at times like this. Thanks for the reminder.) Then I called the store, who went and found out what to do.
Here are the steps I proceeded to follow:
1. Pick up the children and take them to the bedroom.
2. (I told Katia I had a special mission for her: Play with the girls until I was done.)
3. Close the bedroom door.
4. Get a dish rag wet with warm water.
5. Start scrubbing.
6. Keep scrubbing until it seems that the cocoa is coming off.
7. Moved on to the next cushion.
8. Keep going until all the cushions have been scrubbed.
9. If that doesn't seem to be getting it off, add a small amount of mild dish detergent.
10. Use a soft hair or tooth brush to fluff up the fibers.
11. Let dry.

Now, as anyone who has twins will tell you. They are not just double trouble, it is more like quadruple trouble. They teach each other things, so they are getting into and doing more than just 2 toddlers. They are doing what 4 would be doing. they can move much faster than 2 toddlers, they can find and lose more than 2. It is amazing that I can even get anything done. As I go from one mess, to another mess, they are creating the 10th mess. How do you keep up?? Well, I put them down for naps, then I see how sweet they are. I sing songs with them and read them books. They laugh and play and have so much fun that it makes it more than worth the messes. And if I get overwhelmed, I can put them in their room so that they can't move onto another mess until I have gained control of the current one. Then I do it all over again. Because I love it!! I am a mom, after all. Pin It

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am not only losing my mind...

This past week was so crazy with all the school shopping and such. Friday I finally decided I needed to fit groceries into the schedule. Well, while coupon-ing and getting the lists ready, I decided that in order to keep Delta and Emma busy, I would share my cell phone with them. I have done this a number of times so didn't think anything of it. Then it was time to go. I went to retrieve my phone and it was no where to be found. I tried calling it, but had it on the lowest setting so couldn't hear it. I decided to go with out it and find it when I got home.
I returned home and after fixing lunch, went on another search. Nothing! The phone battery died, so no more calling it.
Saturday it still was missing. So we went on an Easter Basket search (where you take everything out of everywhere, and return it, looking for whatever is missing). The front room is where we began. Nothing. Then the kitchen. Nothing. Today we will be starting on the basement. I hope that we can find it soon.
I keep asking the girls where my phone is, but they just start looking around for it.
I saw Delta put a toy phone in a cereal box, so I thought I had found where it would be. I checked everywhere in the pantry, and NOTHING! This experience has helped deep clean rooms that have needed it all summer, but I would rather be reading books to the kids or going on a walk. Maybe even sitting next to my DH and watching a movie or having an intellectual conversation. As it is, all I have done since Friday is either look, or think of where to look, for the phone.
Will it turn up? will it be lost forever? Will I ever share something like this with them again? Who knows. I guess we'll see how the week goes. Pin It

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ready for School?? ALREADY!?!

This summer has been the best, most fun, relaxing, crazy summer so far. It started out with a trip to Arizona. Then we came back and had a mad dash week for Elyse and Julia to get their home summer fun in. Then it was swim lessons, outing Tuesday, craft Wednesday, movie Thursday, and run, read, run the rest of the time. The 4th was a blast, the 24th as well, visiting Mimi in WY. Just finished school shopping (I love shopping for supplies; the pens, paper, crayons, glue, binders), registering, and now it is "get a good schedule" time. I haven't been able to get up before 7:00 am. How am I suppose to get up at 5:30 for early morning seminary?? How am I going to keep track of who needs what when?? How are we going to keep on top of things?? Well, I guess the only way to find out is to dive in. So...Here we go. Thursday will be a tiring day. Friday we will be exhausted. Saturday will be like a long needed vacation. Then by next Monday we may have things going well. So, I guess we will see what happens. Pin It

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What has saved me time in cleaning.

Some of the best cleaning investments I have made this year have been microfiber wash clothes and a microfiber mop. I don't know what the deal with this is, but they seem to be able to grab things and it requires less scrubbing, which a definite plus, as I don't have the time to scrub any way. The only thing that is a bit crazy is that you aren't suppose to use fabric softener on them. This is hard for me, because I love soft towels. But Martha Stuart says you shouldn't use fabric softener on towels, because they don't absorb as much moisture. Hmmm... Strange. Pin It

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun at the Gorge

We had such a blast playing at Flaming Gorge. We just hung out on the beach. The kids played and swam in the water, floated, played in the sand(dirt) and ate lunch. It was so much fun. The weather was great. There was only a gentle breeze and it wasn't too hot. The clouds occationally covered the sun, but not more than needed. Elyse, Katia, Mimi, and I didn't get too much sun. Can't say the same for the rest. Even with sunscreening everyone up, it just wasn't enough. But that was the only thing to be complained about. Pin It

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day

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Friday, June 19, 2009

What kind of a Friday is this?

Today was a kinda weird one. I woke up early and was ready to go. I got all my coupons gone through and my shopping lists ready. I showered and started laundry. Tony emptied the dishwasher and then we ate breakfast sorta together. Then the little ones woke up. I fed Delta and Emma, and the fun started. Delta had a bad tummy ache. I finally decided that it was acid reflux. I gave her some medicine, held her for most of the morning, she took a nap, and woke up in a better mood. But first she had to throw up everything she ate for breakfast (in three separate episodes). So much for that get-lots-done day I had planned. I did try pulling weeds with Delta sitting on the little bike. She cried most of the time, so after 10 minutes I left Jayden to do what he could alone (he loves to help in the garden).
Then it was lunch time and after feeding the babies again, I got them both to sleep. They took a fairly good nap (this is rare), then woke up and played in the crib (which they are still fitting in). During nap I did laundry and sewed one swim bag. I'll chat about this in another post. They are so awesome!
So after that I felt sort of down. I wanted to accomplish so much more. I am grateful I could get Delta feeling better. I am glad I am home so I can take care of her the way she needs. I am grateful for a husband who helps and comes home at lunch to give me that pick-me-up. I am grateful I could at least get some weeds pulled, one swim bag done, and that the sun was shining. (Boy does that help!)
Okay, so I guess that this was an okay day. I do have great news that I will share in a future post.
I am glad that I can complain somewhere about days not going well. This has helped me to see that it really was a good day. Just not as I planned. Thanks for listening (or reading). I hope you all can see the bright side of things.
Bye for now. Pin It

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Downsized Family

Okay, so for those of you who don't know, this is my second marriage. The three oldest are from my first marriage. I don't have any step children. My husband is the best step parent. In fact, my mom always tells everyone that if they want to make their life as a step parent better, they need to take lessons from him.
During the summers, the older three go stay with their dad. This is a hard thing for me to have to share them. They are here when it is school time and we have a schedule and more rules than during the summer when it is more laid back. We sleep in and laze around more and have a great time. Then when they get home it is back to routines, bedtime, wake up time, and do your homework. I also don't like that we don't get to take them to the fun places. That's for their dad. Then they get mad about us going somewhere with out them, but what do you do, not go unless they are home?!?
Because it is so hard for me, I have had to find some good things that make summer fun and exciting (in a lazy sort of way). One thing I do is try to have a fun project. The first summer we painted their bedrooms. The next year I made quilts. This year we are painting the house and getting new windows. I also try and plant a garden. This year I am just doing tomatoes and strawberries, but it's something to keep me busy.
I also like to look at the great things about them being gone. The first thing I have noticed is that I don't have to run the dishwasher everyday. I also have less laundry. I don't have to share the TV or computer. Not that I have time to sit down (though here I am neglecting the kids and the house) but I occasionally like to empty my inbox or check out facebook or type something here.
So, I guess that things are a bit more relaxed when they are gone, but I do miss them terribly. I do cry after I drop them off. I do cry when I think of them being gone. But I do want them to have a good relationship with their dad, and time with him is what will help this happen. Pin It

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ari's Hawkes' Ranger Graduation

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I love Mr. Hawkes. He teaches the kids to work hard and be the best they can be. He was Julia's teacher as well, and she still goes beyond the mark when it is something important to her. I hope he has made the same impression on the students he had this year, especially Ari. Pin It

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Okay, Hurry Now

I have finally found a way to get the kids to hurry. I have to not be in one. Today I was able to get to Church on time with all the (healthy) kids with me. Pin It

Friday, May 22, 2009

Temple FHE

This week we did an easy Family Home Evening. We started out by singing I Love to See the Temple. Then we read from For the Strength of Youth about modesty. Then we went to this site and watched about temples. It was so good and it kept the kids attention better than we can sometimes.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Visiting Teaching ( I must do better)

Today in Relief Society we had our Visiting Teaching Conference. We have an active and ever changing ward, so we began by introducing ourselves. This was great for me since the past year I have unable to keep up with all the new members of the ward. Then when you add in the sleep deprivation which keeps my mind from working how I would like it to, you end up with a lot of people I can't remember their names. Then we watched this fun (but inspiring) video. I have posted this before, but thought I should post it again. Mainly because I needed to see it again, and so I am hoping that I wasn't the only one.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Read Out of the Best Books (and The Power of Positive Thinking)

Our ward Relief Society has a book club. We read a book and get together to discuss them. This month we read Who Moved My Cheese. I'm not sure how many of you have read this book. I first read it when I was an Amway Independent Business Owner about 10 years ago. At that time I was reading it to find out how to be a better business woman. It was quite different to read it as a wife and mother. I think the main thing I learned this time through is that things change every day and I have to find what is the most important and worry about that. I need to try and keep up with my ever changing world. For example, while trying to convince Katia that going potty on the toilet is the best, I am finding different things that motivate her. One day it will be a prize. Another day it will be Sleeping Beauty underwear. Then another day she may go just because I tell her it is time to go. She will usually go for her brother, Jayden. And if her cousin Kaylee tells her to go, she will definitely go. But other days she won't go no matter what I say. So this is my current cheese I am chasing. The next will be getting Jayden to school happily or Ari awake without a fight or tantrum.
The other book we read this month was As a Woman Thinketh. This book was about how our thoughts make us. Well, at the same time I was reading The Secret Garden. This same theme was in that book as well.

One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts-just mere thoughts-are as powerful as electric batteries-as good for one as sunlightis, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into our body. If you let it stay there after it has gor in you may never get over it as long as you live.
I feel strongly that our thoughts can make or break us. For example, if we dwell on how hard something is, it will be hard. If we dwell on how worth while something is, it will be. Cleaning the house may not be the most fun thing ever, but it is so nice when the house is clean. You can look at what yo have accomplished and be pleased with the effort.
One thing I have found now that I am older is how much I enjoy being a mom. I love it. I get to hold and read to and play with these little ones all day long. I get to push them on the swing, watch as they discover some new wonder, read them some of my favorite stories, and watch movies with them, and listen to their imaginations going wild. (Lately Jayden and Katia have been playing spy. It has been so much fun to listen to what they think goes into the day of a spy.)
Now, this doesn't mean that I am never grouchy or tired or overwelmed (something that happens atleast every other day), but I sit (or actually lay) down at the end of the day and share with my husband all the wonderful things that went on here while he was gone. Maybe it is because I have had to be a working mom, or because I like to play more than work, but this stage of life is quite rewarding and enjoyable. Pin It

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finding the Silver Lining

This past Sunday, the main theme I went home with was Happiness. I am so glad that I am able to find happiness in my daily life. This has not always been the case. I heard so many great things I wanted to share, that we decided to have our FHE on this topic. Here is what we did:

1st I read from the True to theFaith manual.

Testifying of God’s “eternal purposes,” the prophet Lehi taught, “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:15, 25).

Heavenly Father desires that we find true, lasting happiness. Our happiness is the design of all the blessings He gives us—gospel teachings, commandments, priesthood ordinances, family relationships, prophets, temples, the beauties of creation, and even the opportunity to experience adversity. His plan for our salvation is often called “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). He sent His Beloved Son to carry out the Atonement so we can be happy in this life and receive a fulness of joy in the eternities.

Many people try to find happiness and fulfillment in activities that are contrary to the Lord’s commandments. Ignoring God’s plan for them, they reject the only source of real happiness. They give in to the devil, who “seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). Eventually they learn the truth of Alma’s warning to his son Corianton: “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Others seek only to have fun in life. With this as their main goal, they allow temporary pleasure to distract them from lasting happiness. They rob themselves of the enduring joys of spiritual growth, service, and hard work.

As you seek to be happy, remember that the only way to real happiness is to live the gospel. You will find peaceful, eternal happiness as you strive to keep the commandments, pray for strength, repent of your sins, participate in wholesome activities, and give meaningful service. You will learn to have fun within the limits set by a loving Father in Heaven.

Your happiness can be contagious. As others observe you, they may desire to know the source of your joy. Then they can also experience the happiness that comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then I shared some things I heard in sacrament meeting that rang true. First of all, happiness is based on our attitude. We have to want to be happy, in order to BE happy. Serving will bring us happiness. Reading the scriptures, expecially the Book of Mormon, will bring us happiness. Saying our prayers and listening to the Holy Ghost will make us happy. Also, happiness is a consequence.

Then a story was told about traveling and in heavy traffic seeing a vehical full of a family with a lot of kids. On a bumper sticker were the words: Are we having fun yet? The speaker asked us if we were having fun yet in our journey.
Happiness will remind us of heaven. If we are choosing the right, we will be truely happy no matter what is happening. But if we are not choosing the right, we will not be truely happy.

In Relief Society, the lesson was based on the conference talk by President Uchtdorf, The Infinite Power of Hope. The main points that I took home are: Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness.The things we hope for are usually future events. The things we hope in sustain us through our daily lives. And, we learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk, one step at a time.

We have had someone sick in our house for the past three weeks. This has taken a toll on all of us. When Emma ended up in the hospital, I felt bad. I needed to take care of all the children, but didn't want to leave her alone. I decided to stay with her and return home for short periods of time. I would go home to help get the kids to bed, or to have lunch with them. I used this time to spend great one-on-one time with Emma. I held her quite a bit. Then when she would be awake and feeling a little better, we would sing songs and do finger plays/stories. We had a lot of fun. She now will come up to me and do a hand motion to a song or play and want us to do this together.
Then last week when we were all sick again with colds and stomach flu, it was also TV free week. I was so wanting to give up (and finally did on Friday when three little girls and I were sick). But I decided that I could read books to them. So we would sit on the couch surrounded by books and kids, and we would read. Then when they were feeling more happy, I would quickly go re-start the laundry or pick up really quick. I also decided that since I don't watch TV, I would give up the computer. I did balance my checkbook and check my e-mail and facebook a few times, but I didn't go to any blogs (until Saturday when we were rechecking how to do Elyse's hair for prom, but I'll tell more about that later).
I did let Jayden play the wii one day with is friends, but just until Ari got home, as he is the only one who was really participating.
So basically, my house is still quite behind in the clean department, but I did get to spend some great one-on-one time with the kids. I do still want all this sickness to leave us. And now it is hard with the little ones being a bit too needy, but we did have fun reading and singing. Pin It


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